5 Things to Remember If Oversleeping Happens


Last week was a terrible, no-good awful week, to put it bluntly. Two weeks ago, on the trail of a cancelled flight, an unexpected turn in the book publishing world, a 2x laptop restore, and a stomach virus that literally knocked me to the floor for 24 hrs, I thought the worst was over.

But then…

The stomach bug that took me down decided to hit our family one by one. If you look at the family photo on the right, then you can probably visualize–that’s a lot of puke. Yes, indeed. So for the first few days last week, my best friends were the corner dry cleaner, Clorox wipes and Germ-X.

By Thursday, it seemed everything was back to normal and all affected were healthy once again. My husband and oldest son have the earliest schedules in our family and once they were both on their way to work and school, I decided to lie back down on the bed. Just for a minute, you know. I was flat out bone-weary.

Only a minute turned into 45 and the next thing I knew, I jerked myself awake, looked at the clock, and realized that my daughter and son should be getting on the school bus at this very moment. Sigh.

Like all crazy mothers who know they are dancing with the tardy bell, I flew into high gear and rustled everyone out of bed. Because we missed the bus, I would have to take 4 children to the school, even though only 2 of them were to be there. To make matters a bit more challenging, my special needs daughter’s nurse did not show up on time. My sweet girl Taylor does not like to be rushed. In fact, she won’t be rushed. So I practically carried her 95 pounds down a flight of steps,through the garage door, then down two more steps, and lifted her into the van seat.

The kids made it to school a half hour late and a few minutes later, I sat down to feed Taylor and sip some coffee. I had lost a ton of time and felt extremely behind on the tasks and outlined schedule for the day. Angry at myself for oversleeping, actually for even lying back down on the bed in the first place, I realized I had some choices to make.

Did oversleeping have the right to steal the gift of a new day? Did I want to let oversleeping ruin my attitude for the day? And so I scribbled down this pep talk to myself–5 things to remember if oversleeping happens.

1. Giving grace to myself for my mistakes is just as necessary as giving grace to others for their mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes. I didn’t deliberately oversleep, so the best thing I could do after the fact was to give a little grace.

2. Wishing I could change the past would only result in forfeiting the present.

Allowing myself to dwell on wondering why on earth I decided to lie back down on the bed would not change the fact that I did it. Rather than waste time on wishing and wondering, I chose to pick up the morning routine, simply a bit later in the day.

3. Realizing the results of the mistake could be worse provided a channel of thankfulness.

Oversleeping on this rare occasion could have resulted in worse circumstances. Being thankful that I woke up when I did was a critical element to moving on for the day. I realized that in spite of the mistake, there were things for which I could be thankful. For example, my children did not have testing scheduled for the morning, so they did not miss any tests. No one saw me at the school in a disheveled state. ha. The self-care skills that I’ve been attempting to instill in my children revealed themselves at a crunch time and I can be thankful for their independence.

4. Spending time with God can happen at any time of day.

So while I didn’t read my Bible and pray at my preferred early morning time, I refused to skip over this very important part of the day and instead, I read while I was feeding Taylor. I believe God loves to have our “ideal” time, but if we don’t have it to give, he still loves spending time with us regardless.

5. Determining to make the best of the current situation is as important as determining not to allow the mistake in the future.

So I knew that lying back down for a few more “moments” of sleep was a bad decision and I didn’t want to allow it to happen again in the future, but I also didn’t want my grumpiness over the mistake to ruin the morning. After feeding Taylor, I cranked up the praise music and ran through the morning routine of household and office chores, as well as caring for my three girls.

While oversleeping felt like a huge failure, the day turned out to be a great one. We somehow landed back on track with the schedule just after lunch and enjoyed a few accomplishments that weren’t planned . I really believe that focusing on what I want to remember if oversleeping happens provided not only a perspective to get through the aftermath of the mistake, but a thought process for other mistakes.

When was the last time you overslept?



  1. We’ve had the whole family come down with the flu one by one, a child had a sinus infection which delayed a tonsillectomy and adenoid removal, and then had tonsillectomy and adenoid removal. I have to wake up our little boy through the night to take the pain reliever to keep his pain managed. So, I am exhausted, and am feeling like a walking robot. Today, I overslept, and barely in time sent an e-mail that he was not recovered enough to be going to school. Today is hard to get anything done. Today is watching library tapes day and eating leftovers.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I read it just after dropping off my daughter who has special needs to school. Your post is a blessing to me today. Needing to reset my morning & day, this gave me the pause & inspiration to do just that.
    Heading off to a meeting with my gospel playing in the car & smiling. Thanks!
    Be well & be blessed

  3. Tonya Gatlin says:

    Rachel, sometimes you Ladies I follow online seem like superheroes…thank you for sharing your “human” moments too 😉 – praying you have a much better week!

  4. Over sleeping is not always a mistake its your body telling you that you needed something look at it in a positive way maybe God shielded you and your family from an unforseen situations that you will never know about God protects us in all kinds of ways blessing to you and you’re family have a great day

  5. Another perspective on the giving yourself grace is to realize what all could have happened had you NOT taken the 45 minutes to get the rest your body definitely needed at that point. I know we need to stay away from “what if’s”, but I think to determine that you will not lie down again and get some rest when your body needs it is a disaster waiting to happen–whether while at home or at the wheel of your car. Those 45 minutes, though they put you in hyper-drive when you awoke, probably also sustained you all day. Without those 45 minutes, only eternity and a talk with the Lord will reveal what “could have been.” The thought of redeeming the time lost by making sure to still get that time with the Lord is a wonderful reminder that He accepts us wherever, however we come. Glad to hear that all of you are feeling better now.

  6. Rachel…loved this post! I have been off schedule past few months staying with my daughter…helping with Andrew (still no nursing overnight) and Shamus… still working, etc. Cannot seem to enjoy a quiet time with God the same way as when I am at my other home. Been beating myself up and to no avail. I am simply exhausted. Then the other night, I backed out of the driveway and bumped a parked car in the street. I was happy to reflect back and see that I had “applied” most of your points and had handled it quite calmly and peacefully. Thank You Jesus! This post and my reflection gave me pause to ponder my frustration with my missing or shortening my quiet time. I will give myself grace! Thank you for reminding me! I will also make a better plan to “Be still and know the He is God!” God bless!

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